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Fantasies and a scenic portrait

scenic-couple-portrait-illustration

Ever since I can remember, the dude I share my life with has been fantasising about travelling the world free from worries and obligations. One of his dreams is us going from one place to another on a motorcycle, him driving and me sitting next to him in a sidecar. We would have everything we need with us and could spontaneously decide to wake up in a new place every day if we wanted.

Since I started making comics (which go by the title “couple comics” – how original!) about the life in our household, my boyfriend has been asking me to illustrate us travelling in the motorcycle-sidecar combo. So, a couple of weeks before his birthday, I sat down with paper and pencils to visualise this dream. Although the comics I’ve previously drawn of us have been just simple pencil sketches, I decided to put some more time on this one and make it full colour with a scenic background.

Here’s a behind-the-scenes peek of my illustration process from sketch to the final piece:

1. Raw sketch

I started the drawing from the wheels of the motorcycle and didn’t realise I was getting way too close to the top edge of the paper…hence the floating head.

scenic-couple-portrait-illustration
2. Polished sketch with shadingscenic-couple-portrait-illustration
3. Digitalised version, enhanced with Photoshop

The creepy floating head has finally found the body it belongs to!

scenic-couple-portrait-illustration
4. Coloured versionscenic-couple-portrait-illustration
5. Let’s figure out something for the background…scenic-couple-portrait-illustration
6. Et voíla, the final piece with some additional shading and mountain sceneryscenic-couple-portrait-illustration

PS. See the cherry tomatoes? We are currently growing multiple cherry tomato plants, so obviously they would need to join us for the journey. Healthy self-grown snacks on the go!

Pimp your jar (+ FREEBIE)

A few weeks ago, I decided that the unorganized state of our kitchen needed immediate action. “It won’t take long,” I told my boyfriend as I rolled up my sleeves and emptied the shelves from all the many jars filled with spices and herbs. Most of them didn’t have any labels. “Now, that won’t do,” I thought, got some paper and sat down on the floor with a pen, ready to make some pretty labels. “Why wouldn’t you design the labels digitally and then just print them out?” my boyfriend asked. “You could even add a nice pattern for the background,” he added. “Okay,” I said. “Let’s go all the way, then!”

Without a clear plan, I started playing with some simple geometric shapes and bright candy colours. After some experimenting, the trial-and-error-approach gave some rather nice results. Obviously, the efficient “this won’t take long” reorganizing project got a bit out of hand, but my inner Martha Stewart really loved the process! Last week I finally had the time to paste the labels on the jars. I’m quite glad with the end result – not only are our kitchen shelves cleaner, but they are also a lot more playful now!

And guess what: you can join the jar decoration movement right now! What a better way to celebrate the end of 2016 than reorganizing the kitchen shelves, eh? To pimp your jars, simply click to my FREEBIES-page, print out the designs and glue them on your jars.

Merry printing & happy New Year!

Illustrated geboortekaart

When someone asks me what kind of projects I most enjoy working on, I always give children’s books as an answer. However, there is also another type of assignment that is very close to my heart, and that is illustrating custom-made cards to mark the special occasions in the lives of my good friends.

When a friend of mine had her first child a few years ago, she commissioned me to illustrate a geboortekaart aka birth announcement card for the baby. (Geboortekaarts are cards that parents in the Netherlands send out to their families, friends, neighbours, colleagues etc in order to announce the name and the strategic measurements of their new family member.) I was honoured to be trusted with that kind of special task and really enjoyed working on such a personal thing. So, when my friend got the happy news for the second time around, my hand was already raised, volunteering for the geboortekaart-job again.

I had drawn a giraffe for the card of the first baby, so I decided to stick with the same concept and draw an exotic animal for her sibling as well.

Here’s sneak peek of the illustration process of little Otto’s* tiger!

*names and information on the card have been changed

sketch-tigerInitial sketches of the character

geboortekaart-tiger-sketch-birthcard-illustrationThe final drawing ready to be made digital

illustrated-birthcard-geboortekaart-tiger-by-Emmi_OjalaVoilá, finished illustration!